• White pizza & It’s not easy being green…

    …not for Kermit the frog, no, but for this pizza yes. I am aware that a pizza without the red tomato sauce is a white pizza, BUT this one having exclusively green vegetables on it, I call it green.

    white pizza green pizza

    I got an organic food box again this week delivered right at my doorstep and I was finally able to get rid of two of my return boxes. In many neighbourhoods the concern would be for somebody to steal a box. I my street these boxes keep coming back to me like boomerangs. Instead of letting them sit outside for the delivery guy to take them away somebody always brings them back to me so that I end up with many cumbersome boxes. The intention is good I know…

    In my box I had 150g spelt flour that was mixed with dried herbs. I added a teaspoon of yeast and enough water to make a dough that is not to liquid and let it proof for an hour. I added flour to work the dough into a non sticky ball and then roll it out.

    white pizza green pizza

    I added green tomatoes, courgette that I had slightly fired in a pan beforehand, some thyme and rosemary and finally mozzarella.

    white pizza green pizza

    Preheat the oven at 250°C and bake your pizza until the crust is as you like it and the cheese has melted and bubbled nicely!

    white pizza green pizza

    white pizza green pizza

    Here comes your green pizza.

    chilli oil spicy

    I do not want to have pizza without spicy oil. To make some yourself, choose a nice bottle, put dried chillies inside and add a good quality olive oil. You can obviously add other spices, I just go for chilli. You leave this for a month and taste if it’s spicy enough for you. If it get’s too spicy over time you can add fresh olive oil to the mix.

    chilli oil spicy

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    If you feel like a trip down memory lane with Kermit, here you go:

    Eat well

  • preparing for winter…with jam

    I am not chopping wood or knitting jumpers. Just back from London I stick to my promise of making apricot and strawberry jam for my nieces’ and nephew’s pancakes as well as for the yoga retreat that I will be catering for later in summer.

    making jam London Derren Brown

    I am in London quiet often, this time I went to see Derren Brown. If I could just beam me back and forth between Luxemburg an London…the perfect mix of inspiring big city creativity and the comfort of the familiar as well as the serenity of country side living. Derren’s amazingly clever show is of course a secret and I will stick to that promise just as I do to the jam one;) There is not much to say about making jam, so after a short description I will shut up and spam you with a few pictures…

    making jam London Derren Brown

    For 1 kg of washed and pitted fruit you need 1/2 kg sugar (the special jam kind)

    The test to see if it will turn into jam is to pour some on a plate and see if it “gels”, if not keep cooking.

    The glasses should be as clean as possible, I submerged each one in cooking water although the were already dish washer clean.

    Fill to the brim, put the lid on and turn upside down for a couple of minutes.

    making jam London Derren Brown

    Eat well

  • Slowing down with fish

    Straight away I have to tell you that today this is not the animal protein free space that it is most of the time. Please bare with me even if meat and fish is strictly off limit for you since the dish that is following can be vegetarian even though it’s not new. I tell you what else it is, incredibly easy, time-saving and close to zero effort in washing up.

    oven roasted vegetables with fish

    I am just back from Cologne and am generally getting in the mood for traveling since my summer vacations have just started. But on these first days of freedom it’s hard to slow down and my body is showing me that it needs help to recover from the last months and relax and settle for the summer. One of its ways is to ask me for animal protein which I give into by eating fish. If people ask me on advice about animal protein or generally on what to eat I tell them to listen to their body and use the best produce they can afford. No need to comply to any label, vegetarian, pescatarian, vegan, flexitarian (although I kind of like that one;))…

    oven roasted vegetables with fish

     

     

    As a kid I used to spend whole summers on the belgian sea-side, eating fresh sea food and I do like it, I just prefer a vegetarian diet most of the time but not exclusively. I try to stay flexible;)

    On that note I have to tell you about the food box that I get regularly. It’s filled with all kinds of organic goodies and clever recipes that tell you how to use them.

    I read the recipes to find inspiration but I managed to stick to them once. I try to use all the ingredients from the box (and for once food that comes in a box is good;)) freestyle and have nothing left before the next box arrives.

    One of the good things about this…I get stuff in there I would NEVER buy, like bell pepper. And then I discover a way of preparing and most of the time loving the shunned produce and that way bring it back into my diet  and with it more variety.

    For those who live in Luxemburg, the boxes come from avocado.lu and are worth a try!

    onion & lemon

    Today I used the root vegetables from the box & onions and lemons. Washed and chopped coarsely I popped all of these on a baking tray with some thyme, olive oil, pepper and salt. In the oven at 220° until roasted nicely and there is you vegetarian dish that you can combine with quinoa, pasta, toast….

    After I took the veggies out I put a piece of frozen fish on that same tray still sizzling with the scented oil and put that back in the oven until the fish was nicely cooked. How easy can it get?

    oven roasted vegetables with fish

    In the final dish I added some olives, salt & pepper for the fish and finally squeezed one of the baked lemon quarters over the fish.

    roasted squeezed lemon

    My next stop is London for yoga, Derren Brown and exciting food.

    Eat well and listen to your body

  • eggplant couscous & cookbooks

    I have spent a few days in Munich, a city I am totally in love with. Before l left I bought a great “wintery” vegetarian cookbook. I ordered the one this recipe is from by Rachel Khoo and it was sitting in my mailbox, happily waiting when I cam back home. In this book she travels through France and collects recipes and it makes you wanna pack your stuff and join. I should also tell you that I bought two more cookbooks in Munich one being the “Luitpold” book which is more like a fun coffee-house history & recipe book, that I enjoy reading sitting underneath my fig tree on the balcony, the other one an italien vegetarian one. I know that’s addictive behaviour but it could be worse.

    eggplant taboulé rachel khoo

    I more or less did as told by Rachel Khoo as I prepared this dish with a couple of exception due to the ingredients in my pantry and the fact that I added raisins. Having a sweet touch in your meal takes away the possible craving for dessert. I left aside the yoghurt dressing & wanted to add mint but I bought the wrong plant just looking at the label not the actual plant at the shop;) & I have no clue what I brought home and planted in a pot with love.

    aubergine couscous rachel khoo

    2 Eggplants

    2 tbsp olive oil

    1tbsp tomato paste

    1 tbsp Espelette pepper (I used chilli since I was out of piment d’Espelette)

    parsley to garnish (also out…)

    2 cloves of garlic (me garlic never, seriously, but I know it’s healthy YES)

    Cut the Aubergine into sticks, omitting the spongiest part in the middle.

    Blend the ingredients for the marinade together and “paint” your Eggplant sticks.

    Put them in the oven at 180°C until they look and smell done.

    eggplant couscous rachel khoo

    For the couscous

    160g couscous

    zest of 1 lemon (organic untreated )

    a pinch of salt

    180 ml boiling water

    1 tsp extra virgin olive oil

    a few raisins (if you like) & I did smuggle in some tomatoes as well…

    Mix the dry ingredients together, add water & olive oil, cover and leave for 5 minutes so the couscous can soak up the water.

    A happy vegetarian summer meal and if Rachel is right it has it’s origin in the Basque country.

    Eat well

  • how to eat potatoes…

    how to eat potatoes

    Being part of the first after 2nd world war generation in Luxemburg ,my parents’ world has changed a lot from being one of the first families with a washing machine to booking a flight on an iPad. The value of a potato is still very much real for this generation that did not grow up in abundance as we did. It’s a bit of a running joke how many potatoes we were fed as children and for a long time after moving out I didn’t buy or cook any.

    If we go back to the idea that our gut has the right bacteria to digest the food we grew up with I am destined to eat potatoes. But what is the best way to eat them since they have a bad image concerning the glycemic index, the sugar spike they cause in our blood and the effect on insulin production.

    The answer is cold. Eating them when they are cooled off changes a lot. Half of the starch that would normally be considered as a carbohydrate by your body and treated accordingly transforms into fibre once it has cooled off. Fibre that your body can not digest but gives your gut a friendly push from the inside and motivates it to do its job.

    how to eat potatoes

    This way even me, member of a spoilt generation with the luxury of worrying about the glycerine index of my food can enjoy potatoes;)

    In my dressing you will find 1 tbsp mustard, 4 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp apple vinegar, pepper & salt and finally chopped pickles.

    Eat well

  • 100 little quiches for the hub.dot

    …divided into 4 sorts, carrot & cumin, peas & cheese, red wine onion, goat cheese & tomato & thyme.

    dough quiche hub.dot

     

    This was an afternoon well spend in the kitchen preparing finger food for the ladies from the hub.dot Luxemburg, which turned out to be a fun evening with A LOT of interesting women to listen and talk to.

    So what would I say in one minute speaking time to resume my view on healthy food? I gave it a try.

    Although I do go the extra mile to eat healthy I am not taking it in the direction that is often expected of raw food & quinoa, even if I like both.

    I give more thought to the fact that many people overeat in general and especially on refined sugar. I feel better if I reduce dairy products.

    I am convinced that health and beauty come in all sizes, that eating should be a source of pleasure not guilt and that we are programmed by the food we grew up with.

    Programmed to digest it well since the bacteria in our gut is the one we need for that food and unfortunately we don’t have the matching digestive aid for new hip food that our bodies have never encountered and a radical switch from the food you grew up with to food from another part of the world can be upsetting for your digestive system even if the food itself is proven to be full of goodies. Including small doses of the new superfood of the week is fine, radical changes…not so much.  Eat well

    And now to the 100 little quiches:

    quiche dough

    For the dough (this makes about 50 mini quiches or a big one for 6 people)

    This dough is best prepared a day in advance and kept in the fridge well covered so it can’t dry out. It is also perfect for sweet fruit tarts.

    500g flour

    220g butter

    10g salt

    4 egg yolks (organic / free range)

    80g-100g water

    First mix the butter and flour together, maybe in a food processor until the mix looks like sand. Then ass the other ingredients.

    mini quiche hub.dot

    For the carrots, I diced them and cooked them lightly in olive oil with salt & pepper and cumin seeds.

    For the onions, I cut and cooked these in olive oil with a pinch of sugar, pepper & salt. I added red wine at the end and let this cook until the smell of alcohol had totally disappeared.

    ingredients mini quiche vegetables

    For the goat cheese & tomato. A little goat cheese and finely dices tomato with some fresh thyme that I actually worked into the dough for this mini quiche.

    For the filling I needed less cream then expected since the vegetables take up so much space that the cream only fills up the little space in between.

    mini quiche hub.dot

    500ml cream (for a big quiche I would do half milk half cream)

    2 eggs

    2 egg yolks

    salt & pepper & nutmeg to taste

    Mix this really well an and fill in just before baking. If you are worried about the dough getting soggy just use the left over egg white and lightly brush it on the dough before filling in the vegetables and cream.

    Bake at 180°C until you see & smell that they are done!

    Eat well

    mini quiche hub.dot

    mini quiche hub.dot

    mini quiches

  • carrot madelaines

    carrot cake madelaine

    These carrot madelaines are a byproduct of my quiche dough production for the 100 mini quiches I am preparing for the  first hub.dot Luxemburg gathering. When I say byproduct….different ingredients go into the carrot cake dough, but once the kitchen aid is running why try to stop it;)

    This gives away my next post, which has to be 100 mini quiches.

    I also completed writing the the menu for the south of France yogaretreat that I will be catering for during summer and am planning to try, taste and post every single one of the recipes.

    Actually these carrot madelaines are part of that menu, featuring as an afternoon snack.

    You see I have been absent but not lazy! I am happy to post these and I hope you like them as much as I do. The carrot cake mix is based on a “Rose Bakery” recipe which I changed in regards to minimising sugar consumption, as I always do!

    I don’t want to turn sugar into THE devil when it comes to nutrition but there is no denying it is respondsable for some of our conditions that could be avoided.

    I am fascinated by the mental health side to sugar consumption. If I understood the science bit correctly, sugar helps other elements to get into the blood, giving them a ride, like one element that is necessary to build serotonin (a happy hormone). If we eat more sugar then can be processed by the body these beneficial elements still attach to that excess sugar that will never reach it’s destination and so can’t get into the blood (less happy stuff production).

    & we don’t tend to eat to much of the sugar coming from a whole grain but the processed instant kick and overload kind.

    In my logic that results in eating less sugar and letting it do the job properly.

    Now, time to bake;)

    carrot cake madelaines

    Ingredients for carrot madelaines

    2 free range organic eggs

    60g coconut sugar

    50 g almond powder

    150ml sunflower oil

    3 medium finely grated carrots

    150g flour (whole grain always a good choice)

    1/2 tsp baking powder

    1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

    1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda

    1/4 tsp salt

    70 g chopped walnuts

    Mix all the ingredients together and pour into the baking tin or madelaine shaped forms.

    Carrot cake madelaines

    Bake at 180°C until done. Don’t leave the kitchen and use your nose, eyes an cake tester to see if your cake is done. The madelaines will be done fairly quickly, a whole cake will take longer.

    Eat well

  • the missing pinch of salt

    I literally forgot the pinch of salt in my picture of ingredients. Please add one right away. It should not me missing, not in the granola & nowhere else.

    granola wholesome

    This small batch of granola will go with me to Switzerland to sit and study on the mountain. I will truly be stuck on a mountain with a bunch of lovely fellow students and teachers. No cars allowed up there and the cable car is still on winter time so the last ride up is at six in the afternoon.

    I somehow imagine it like “The Grand Budapest Hotel” minus the murders.

    I always feel a little off when I am fed in an hotel for a longer period of time. In general my sugar levels are not too happy and a wholesome breakfast can help me to get through the day even if my diet is not ideal & I can not influence it too much either.

    My little survival breakfast:

    granola wholesome

    1 bowl of oats

    2 tbsp of chia seeds

    2 tbsp of roasted nuts

    1 tbsp of honey

    1 tbsp of unflavored coconut oil

    pinch of salt:)

    vanilla (as much as you like, which for me is A LOT)

    granola wholesome

    Preheat the oven at 180°C and mix everything together in a baking tray. I just wait for the coconut oil to be melted before giving the mix a little stir. Check the granola every ten minutes, stir and take it out of the oven to cool as soon as it’s slightly brown and crisp.

    granola wholesome

    granola wholesome

    Eat well & hope to see you here when I’m off the mountain

  • Yoghurtcake…to bake with kids

    …rather to let them bake. If you can restrain from interfering and are able to let the kids try this on their own, even if it means a bit of a mess and a couple of moments of total self-control;) I’m not telling you to leave the room! Just ‘help’ less & assist with the oven part of baking.

    I’m not just talk, I tried this with larger groups of 4 to 6 year olds, who were first surprised by the lack of adult interference, ultimately happily produced cakes. Some slightly eggier but still a big hit with their fellow kindergarten friends.

    Yoghurtcake children bake

    Yoghurtcake is easy to make, no measuring or weighing involved, a good choice if you want to bake with small children. You can add chocolate chips to the dough or fruit. I sprinkled a handful of frozen blueberries on top just to pimp it a little bit for the picture;)

    I didn’t give the rest of the pictures the same consideration since I originally made them for work. I photographed the recipe step by step so kindergarten children could “read” & make this by themselves. I made little books out of the pictures that they use as a recipe book without words. I also added full or half stars to indicate the amount of refilled yoghurt pots on each picture which is missing from the ones presented here.

    I was debating writing the recipe down but I won’t! Hoping that the pictures will be enough;) Step by step…with a few words to replace the missing indication of quantity that the kids got in form of the star system & numbers.

    DSC_0274 DSC_0275 DSC_0276 DSC_0277 DSC_0278 DSC_0279 DSC_0280 DSC_0281 DSC_0282 DSC_0283 DSC_0284 DSC_0285 DSC_0286
    DSC_0289 DSC_0290 DSC_0291 DSC_0292 DSC_0293 DSC_0294

    one pot of sugar

    3 pots of flour

    1/2 pot of vegetable oil

    1 & 1/1 tsp of baking powder

    DSC_0261     at 180°C

    yoghurt cake kids baking

    For the healthier option you can use whole grain flour & coconut sugar. The result is obviously different but delicious as well.

    yoghurtcake

    Let them bake!

  • this & that / waffles &…

    DSC_0268

    Let me apolagize for being so absent from gigi’s spcae these days! You know the excuse that is to fallow, too much to do, not enough time or time  used unwisely which I am most certainly guilty off. In addition to all of that stuff that I will not bore you with (I might do later though;)) I have not really been creative in the kitchen. When there is little time it tends to be a plate of this and that, always with a thought for health and clever combinations but never an actual foto & post worthy plate.

    The one thing I have been making & combining quiet a bit is waffles. Even with little time & lots of positive stress the therapeutic effect of baking always works for me.

    DSC_0265

    For the dough (makes about 6 waffles)…whisk together:

    150g crème fraiche

    50g coconut sugar

    a pinch of salt

    2 free range eggs

    125g whole grain spelt flour

    1 tsp baking powder

    & sometimes a handful of spelt oats to give these waffles a more wholesome texture.

    I pour 1,5 tbsp of dough per waffle into the waffle maker.

    Here are a couple of examples of this & that dishes that I had lately…this reminds me of a restaurant in Paris where you can have soufflé as a starter, main an dessert. That’s not what I did with the waffles although I happily could:) Waffles were made and frozen, popped into the toaster to defreeze & reheat on different days!

    waffle & avocado with salmon

    DSC_0262

    waffle & poached egg

    DSC_0263

    On poaching eggs, it is so simple and still people ahhh and ohhh when you serve one…Bring the water to a boil then REMOVE FROM THE HEAT, crack the egg and bring it as close as possible to the water before you let the content drop in, not too slowly. Reduce to medium heat and but the water & egg back on. No bubbly water…a nice and even poached free range egg.

    DSC_0267

    waffle & coffee;)

    DSC_0271

    Eat well